“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein
Human beings strive to be perfect. Perfection is so highly sought after that people oftentimes steer clear of imperfection in all areas of their life. But trying to be perfect when learning another language will lead to failure. Because the key to successfully learning a new language is based upon acceptance, acceptance that mistakes will be made. With each mistake made, and careful attention to revising those mistakes, a foundation is built towards improvement, and ultimately towards achieving fluency.
Consider the apprentice baker under the guidance of a seasoned baker. With support and guidance from the seasoned backer, the apprentice baker must make mistakes when trying new recipes before she has succeeded in all of her confectionery creations.
The same principles apply to learning a language.
At inlingua, we are all inspired by the way in which our students strive to improve from their mistakes, from their willingness to try new things in the classroom, from all the risks that they take. We see how they change as individuals through the mistakes they make. And we are reminded that a mistake, especially when learning language, is just another way to describe great courage.
So when a student first says, “I want to study English,” she is taking the first step in the English language journey, and that in and of itself takes a great deal of courage.